Vegas luxury for bargain prices

One of my best friends and I are headed to Las Vegas at the end of January. We can hardly wait! Our plans include plenty of craft cocktails, pedicures and massages, incredible meals, a little casino fun, a glitzy show, and…thrift store shopping, Vegas style (hoping to score some sparkly, glam finds).

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I made this collage all by myself!

Because we are going for glitz, glam, and luxury on this trip, I’m thinking of booking our hotel stay through the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) program. This benefit is available to Platinum and Centurion cardholders, and while the hotels featured are all luxury properties, sometimes the perks included can add enough value so that your stay is a steal…or at least a really good deal.

Sure enough, the Bellagio is pricing out at $165/night for our dates. While at first glance this may not seem like a good deal, because of all of the extras and goodies included in the offer, it is a GREAT deal for us. Here’s why:

The benefits that are offered for each stay booked with the FHR program include:

  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily continental breakfast for two
  • US $100 food and beverage credit to be used during your stay
  • Noon early check-in, upon availability
  • 4:00 pm guaranteed late check-out

For us, what this means is that for $85 each, we will get a night at a 5-star hotel, plus breakfast, lunch and drinks. Not bad!

This benefit becomes more valuable if you are able to book more several one-night stays for the same vacation, stacking the nights back-to-back. In other words, you can book one-night stays at several different hotels in the same cityInconvenient? Maybe a little. Personally, I like to think of it as an adventure…and I get to experience the flavor of several different hotels during one stay, which (to me, at least) is a bonus.

In addition to the perks, you can also earn points and elite stay credits when booking through FHR if you call the hotel after you make your reservation to add your hotel loyalty program membership number. While this is not guaranteed to work, most people find that it does. People have also reported that they receive their elite benefits while at a hotel on an FHR rate.
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If you want to book an FHR stay, you need to be a American Express Platinum or Centurion cardholder. The FHR program is yet another reason that I hold on to my Platinum card, even though it has a $450 annual fee! (Although the recent subtraction of the American Airlines Admiral’s lounge benefit is definitely a hit to the value of the card.)

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Simply log in to your Amex account and hover over the “Personal Travel” tab, then click “Fine Hotels and Resorts.” You will then be able to browse through their selection of hotels, which is small but highly curated.

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amex fhr

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I’m eyeing the Four Seasons as well for this trip (through FHR, of course!), but I’m hoping the rate goes down a little. It’s currently at $250/night, which is a little rich for my blood.

Has anyone found any great FHR deals recently? Where did you stay? How was it?

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Comments

  1. Unfortunately the only AMEX FHR hotel in Vegas that still offers a $100 F&B credit is the Palazzo and I believe they will no longer be participating in 2014.

    Bellagio offers a $100 SPA credit, which most may not use due to their inflated prices.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Don – weird, when I checked, the Bellagio offered a Food and Beverage credit. Luckily I locked it in! Also, the Palazzo didn’t show up for my dates. I wonder if the benefits also change based on the dates you choose…

  2. I highly recommend the Four Seasons. Bellagio is great as well. Can’t go wrong with either.

    Labor Day weekend FHR at Arizona Biltmore:

    Rate $99

    Full Breakfast
    $100 F&B

  3. Having stayed at the Bellagio twice in the last couple of months, the FHR benefit is $100 spa credit OR $85 credit for Olives valid at lunch only. If using the Olives voucher and the weather is decent, book a table in advance and specify you want outside seating (which has a great view of the fountains).

  4. I booked THEhotel for $90/night. It came with a spa credit, but overall good value with the free breakfast. No upgrade.

  5. As a frequent Vegas visitor I look for deals that at times can net to $15/nt in the nicer hotel/casinos on the strip, based on all expenses and credits (resort fees, F&B credits).

    The trick is to do so, as you have, without playing into the casino comp system, which I have seen ravage even the most conservative people.

    Unless you are mathematically inclined, have a substantial bankroll, can deal with major down swings, and can calculate your advantage – most would be wise to do as you are doing and find the best deal possible.

    • Points Pixie says:

      JaggerFoo – TOTALLY AGREE. I can’t deal with the intricacies of the casino comp system. I’ve got my mind full of the intricacies of the points and miles system.

  6. Most of the FHR in LAS are for spa credits so I’ve never used it.

    • Points Pixie says:

      CCORD – Yeah, if I were there with my kids I wouldn’t be too excited about the spa credits either, but since I am going with my friend, we will totally use spa credits as well!

  7. Haven’t been to the LV Four Seasons but can vouch for the Bellagio. It’s been a few years, but was always a fantastic hotel the few times I’ve been. I’ve put on two work events, both at Bellagio – which got me upgraded to a nice suite! Are you going to see any shows? Any special deals there?

  8. Do you mind sharing what kind of seats AMEX was able to secure for the concert?

  9. It seems AMEX just went to the box office and got you whatever tickets are available. Section 105 is off to the far right side. I would be impressed if AMEX got you tickets front and center but in Vegas, they just don’t have that pull. The only way to get those seats are through the casino as they typically hold them back for their players.

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